It was 10:45 am on Inauguration Eve, I was sitting on my couch all alone in Nashville, the confirmation hearings were playing in the background, and I looked up to see an airplane flying in the sky on the upper right-hand corner of my tv. He was headed to Washington, in a plane that didn’t have his name in big letters on the side. I wasn’t sure if it was Airforce One or not, but I immediately turned off the television and sat in silence.
All week I have been torn and anxious about tomorrow, I’ve watched every farewell speech Obama gave with tears in my eyes. It was as if my parents were breaking up and I wasn’t ready. Then he gave his final press conference, and he said: “We’re going to be OK.” When things are upside down in my life, I tend to chant to myself “You’re going to be OK,” “everything will be all right.” Now here was my President telling me and everyone like me, all my friends, my family members who feel the same way as I do, that “We’re going to be OK.”
It’s hard to believe that with living with the Obama family for eight years and the grace and dignity that we were going to have a President that is uncultured, insensitive and crude. We are going from a First Family who had a playground on the front lawn of the White House to a First Family who isn’t even going to live in the White House, and I’m not even sure how to feel at this moment. My emotions range from “I’m going to sit back and watch it all burn” to “I have got to mail in my CIT-0002 so I can become a Canadian” to “We’re going to be OK.”
I love the pomp and circumstance of inauguration day. I love the tradition of it all. I love the parade; I love seeing what the incoming First Lady decided to wear, I love seeing all the past Presidents in the background. I love the story of the Bible the incoming President picked; I love watching the outgoing First Family getting on Marine One and flying over Washington DC. I feel the most American on Inauguration Day, but today on Inauguration Eve I don’t know what to feel. There are things like the “Silent Inauguration” where people are boycotting watching it and going for a walk, or meditating or doing yoga. But I can’t still my mind on a regular day enough to meditate, I’m not bendy enough on a regular day to do yoga and it is supposed to pour down rain tomorrow in Nashville and I don’t like walking in the rain.
So I am probably going to watch the Inauguration tomorrow with a box of tissues, my CIT-0002 on my lap and my husband sitting next to me with is noise canceling headphones on and chant over and over to myself “We’re going to be OK,” because what other options do we have?
Then on Saturday morning, I am going to gather my husband, my daughter and her boyfriend and I am going to March on Nashville. I am going to march because I need to be surrounded by people who feel the same way as I do, who are hopeful that if we band together, we will make a difference, who want to march forward and not backward. Who believe people are good no matter their color, who they choose to love or how they identify. I want to surround myself with love and acceptance and hope because if we don’t have those things, we will NOT be OK.
I no longer want to carry around with me the sadness that the early hours of November 8th brought. I no longer want to look at the people who voted for this incoming President sideways. I want all the hope and optimism that 2008 brought to America. I want to believe, that we are going to be OK, but don’t be fooled, I’m not throwing away that Application to become a Canadian citizen just yet.
So to all my friends and the few family members that felt the same sadness, I felt in the wee early morning hours of November 8th, surround yourselves with love this weekend, surround yourselves with hope this weekend, surround yourselves with peace this weekend. Know that this weekend I will be thinking of all of you and together “We’re going to be OK.”